Or perhaps stubbornness or selfishness and resilience.

I moved away from family and friends 3 1/3 years ago for a secure job, a good paycheck and the resulting opportunity to get out of debt quickly.

Now that I'm out of debt I find myself with no compelling reason to stay here. Sure it's good money and a secure job, but it isn't my life, and things are happening back at home that I'd like to be there for.

No problem, right? The smart way to do this would seem to be to job hunt from here, then move for the job. (My current company doesn't appear to have any suitable positions openening back home, so moving with my company is currently unlikely.)

However I've been dragging my feet about job hunting (I hate it, especially from a 900 mile distance), and I now find myself with a very strong desire to move back before Christmas. Part of me would just love to give notice in late November, move back mid December and enjoy the holidays while looking for a job for January.

I did something similar in 2000 except I was $20+k in debt, didn't cut my spending and waited a few months before looking for a job. Naturally it was a short term financial stupidity, but I really think my experiences resulting from that put me in a better position now than if I had done it the "smart way" then.

I'm 34, clear of all debt, will have a couple thousand in cash plus $10k of credit available if I bail in December and I'm in the IT profession. I have retirement savings in a 401(k) and IRA that I could live off for a year or two if I had to, but I don't have anywhere near enough to retire. (I don't want to spend the retirement money, but it's there if the sky falls.)

Am I fighting a battle of stupidity versus wisdom or of freedom versus golden handcuffs?

This post is a December 18, 2011 republication of my November 1, 2004 post on Early Retirement Forum.